Congratulations, Roger Clemens, for doing what most of us had hoped you would do.
For a man of 50 to come out of retirement at you age, after five years away from the real game and do what you did last night for the Sugar Land Skeeters is truly both amazing and grandly admirable. Only your meanest, most dedicated enemies would deny you that much. For the rest of us, you are another new vital symbol of the hope that even the most discouraging news can be overturned with courage, dedication, and a few frreak-of-nature miracles along the way.
That being said, today’s column is not just about Roger Clemens and the fact that he went three and a third innings last night, giving up only one single, with no walks and two strikeouts on the way to helping the Sugar Land Skeeters to a 1-0 win over the visiting Bridgeport Bluefish in an ESPN Classic telecast to the four corners if the earth, He didn’t pitch the five innings he would have needed to get credit for the win and, frankly, I’m not even sure when Sugar Land got their lone tally, but that fact and Roger getting the “W” was not really what this appearance was about, anyway.
The fact is, he did it, and did it well. If he wants to go again, that’s fine. if not, that’s fine too. If really wants ro pitch in the majors again and, maybe, move up on the all times win list and put off his own first consideration by Hall of Fame voters to a time apart from his steroids-era brethren, that’s fine too. If it’s wins he wants, however, he probably would be wise to consider any offer that are forthcoming from some of the contending clubs. Signing on with the Astros would produce the greater probability that Clemens would be more likely to pick up a few extra “L”s.
The real story this morning is a fellow named Bob Blair, one of our stalwart hurlers for the vintage base ball Houston Babies. Bob has pitched the Babies to a number of wins over the course of their five-year old reincarnation as Houston’s first professional club from 1888 that now plays a game based on 1860 rules.
Unfortunately, I only have the information about his recent championship game appearance at the same Constellation Field that hosted Roger Clemens last night and all I know about it is what Bob Blair said in an e-mail to one of his Babies teammates, Larry Joe Miggins, and quoted here beneath the photo of Blair working the mound that night for a club that apparently called itself the Indians.
Again, that doesn’t matter either; even the game outcome itself doesn’t matter. What matters is that Bob Blair, like Clemens, is not a man to let age deter him from giving the effort another try. Roger Clemens did it last night at age 50. Satchel Paige did it long ago at age 59. Bob Blair did it a few weeks back, and at the same Constellation Field where Clemens worked under worldwide media scrutiny – and Bob Blair did at age 62.
Bob Blair doesn’t get ESPN Classic attention. Bob Blair gets a write-up in The Pecan Park Eagle – and only weeks later, when the trusty old PPE finally gets wind that it even happened. – What a deal, that is!
AT any rate, way to go, Robert Blair! If you care to post the story of your actual effort, either post it here as a comment upon this column – or else, send the story to me and I will add it here as an addendum to this column. Just tell us something about how it came to be; what it was like for you; who was playing; how did you do; were you the oldest pitcher in your game; did you get the win; and what was the final score?
The outcome is something we already know. Just getting out there to pitch at age 62 puts you ahead of 99% of the population of 62-year old males. – Once again – WAY TO GO, BOB!